Baby Eye Color – When Does it Change and More
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As a new parent, you can never get tired of gazing into your baby’s beautiful eyes. But do you know that your baby’s eyes in a pretty shade of brown may not always remain that way? His eye colour may look different when he turns 3 months, 6 months, or even 12 months of age. Get your fill gazing at those pretty brown because they may change soon enough. The colour of a baby’s eyes may change up to 1 year, while in some babies, the colour may not change until they turn 3 years of age.
How Does Eye Colour Develop in Newborns?
You can thank your genetics and your partner’s too for your baby’s eye colour. A baby’s eye colour is determined by the combination of his parents’ eye colour. However, this amalgamation of the genes takes place in more than one ways. And while the colour of your baby’s eyes may depend on the genetic reasons, you can’t thank your genes alone. Melanin may also play an active part in determining the eye colour of your baby.
When Does a Baby’s Eye Colour Change?
The most significant changes in your baby’s eye colour may be noticed between 6 to 9 months of age. This is because, by this time, there is enough pigment stored by the iris. You would also be able to the final hue of your baby’s eyes. But do not be surprised if your baby’s eye colour keeps changing by the time he turns three years old. Though the darker shades of eyes remain dark and do not change. In around 10 per cent cases, the colour of the eyes may keep changing in adulthood as well.
What Determines an Infant’s Eye Colour?
The following determines the colour of a baby’s eyes:
Melanin plays an important role in determining the colour of a baby’s eyes.
- Low production of melanin can cause a baby’s eye colour to be grey, green, hazel, or blue.
- If there is more production of melanin, the baby may have a darker shade of eyes.
- A baby, whose both parents have blue eyes, may have blue eyes too.
- A baby, whose both parents have brown eyes, may have brown eyes too.
- A baby, whose one parent has blue eyes and the other has green, may have either blue or green eyes.
- A baby, whose grandparents have blue eyes, may have blue eyes too.
- A baby who has different shades in both the eyes may be suffering from Waardenburg Syndrome.
The above mentioned are some possibilities that you may see in your newborn baby but is not necessary that this will only happen and your baby may have different coloured eyes too.
What Colour Eyes Will Your Baby Have?
It is often seen that babies whose parents have a darker shade of eyes may have dark eyes. Similarly, if both the parents have blue or green eyes, the baby may have blue or green eyes. In case one of the parents has lighter eyes and the other has a darker shade of eyes, the baby may have either coloured eyes. The final or permanent colour of your baby’s eyes may become clear by the time he turns nine months of age, but in some babies, the colour may not change up until 3 years of age.
A baby may also have different coloured eyes if he has a rare genetic disorder. However, if you notice any change in your baby’s eye colour, you may get in touch with your doctor to know more about the same.
What If Your Baby Has Two Different Coloured Eyes?
Sometimes a baby may have two different coloured eyes. This may happen in following conditions:
- Waardenburg Syndrome: This is a genetic abnormality that may affect the colour of baby’s skin, hair and even eyes. Babies who are born with this genetic mutation may have different coloured eyes. In some cases, the babies who are born with this defect may even have hearing loss.
- Heterochromia Iridium and Heterochromia Iridis: This defect may cause two different coloured eyes or multi-coloured eyes in babies. This condition may be caused due to gene mutation or excessive pigmentation in the irises. Such defects may also result due to certain medication or trauma that the baby may experience at the time of the birth.
The treatment for the above-mentioned conditions may vary as per the symptoms. In case your baby is diagnosed with heterochromia then there is no need to worry as this condition is not harmful and does not require any treatment. However, if there is inflammation or swelling along with this condition, then it becomes necessary to reduce the inflammation and treat heterochromia after that.
In case, where the child has a vision impairment or the child is unable to see from one eye, tinted contact lenses may be advised by an eye specialist. The contact lenses thus prescribed may help lighten the complexion of a dark-eye or darken the complexion of a lighter eye. If difficulty is experienced in wearing a single contact lens, lenses may get prescribed for both the eyes.
However, if you decide not to treat this condition in your child, you may do so. There are many people living a healthy life with this eye condition. But if you or your child feels the need to use tinted lenses, you may do so.
A baby’s eye colour may undergo considerable changes within a year and even later, if you notice something unusual, you can always talk to a paediatrician to clear your doubts. It is also recommended to have regular eye-checkups for your baby, to rule out any complications that may arise.
Also Read: Pink Eyes in Babies